Good writing doesn’t always have to be serious!
A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a phrase or sentence surprises the reader (or listener) to rethink the beginning of the phrase/sentence. It can be used for humorous or dramatic effect. Stand-up comedians call ’em punchlines, political pundits know them as zingers, mystery writers might use them for a “twist.”
Regardless, they keep our readers (or listeners) on their toes. A few examples …
- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
- Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
- There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
- Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
- The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
- Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
- I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
- The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
- If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
Got any of your own?